Stockholm has been home to the Liquorice Festival since 2009, with the celebratory candy event growing exponentially each year. This year I finally got a chance to visit the world’s biggest liquorice party myself and explore this beautiful black candy.
I never get invited anywhere – and for good reason – but someone made the mistake of inviting me to Stockholm’s Lakritsfestivalen. Naturally I had nothing better to do on a Saturday, so I jumped at the chance to join a group of fellow bloggers on Viking Line‘s recently renewed cruiseliner Gabriella – servicing the Baltic Sea and thus connecting Finland and Sweden.
It would be very misleading to call the boats sailing between Finland and Sweden ferries. They’re more like floating casinos or 12-storey nightclubs, so full of fun that the Italians actually have their own word for them: trombonave. A lot can get lost in translation, but let’s just call it the love boat.
Climbing onboard one of these vessels is very similar in experience to a weekend in Vegas. Both have their own set of rules, completely separate from the real world. Nobody will look twice if you walk from one restaurant to another with a massive margarita in your hand. A normal night on one of these boats will also include karaoke, dancing, acrobatics and buffets. And just like Vegas, you’ll probably make new best friends and fall in love and remember very little of anything when you wake up in a strange cabin.
Salmiak – also known as salty liquorice – is one of the best delicacies in the world
The festival had an incredible array or liquorice in endless forms: candy, cakes, cocktails and potato chips, all with that signature flavor. There was even an entire restaurant devoted to it, and a liquorice spa. It’s all a bit absurd and oh so wonderful. Suffice it to say, the world’s biggest liquorice party did not disappoint a hardcore fan like myself.
After the festival I took a quick tour of Stockholm, strolling under beautiful cherry blossom trees and admiring beautiful blonde people all around. The weather was still something you’d expect from a bad January, but even bad weather is kinda beautiful in Sweden…